Selling from home is one of the oldest ways to earn money from your own home. It has been going on for ever. Well, maybe not literally for ever but certainly since there’s been any form of advertising.
Before the industrial revolution most enterprises were home based although people may have had to go to a market to sell their wares. These days the markets can be all online, and you don’t need to leave home to sell your goods. I’ve looked at this before but wanted to cover some more options this time.
What Can You Sell?
You can sell almost anything online. As we saw with the Silk Road darknet site you don’t even need ti sell things that are legal. Although if you want to go down that path you’ll need to do your research elsewhere.
I’ve looked before at selling your services and skills. That’s essentially what you’re doing when you do work through a site like oDesk/Upwork. It’s a good way to turn your skills into an income but what if your skills translate into being able to produce something more physical? Are you good with crafts or wood or things that go on canvas?
There’s a wide market for quality handmade goods of all sorts online. You’ll never be able to compete on price with good made in countries with cheap labour – like China – but you can compete on quality.
Some people like to sell things they buy elsewhere at a cheaper price. For example they might have a toy or knife set on sale at their local Walmart for a great price to which they add their markup and sell online at a still competitive price. This can be a hard slog as you’re not selling something unique but some people can make it work. This retail arbitrage is a large field in and of itself and there’s a lot more information online.
There’s a lot of options if you’re looking to sell your goods online. Ideally you’d sell on a site that’s more specific to what you’re selling.
For example Etsy.com is a great marketplace for more arts and crafts focused good and bespoke or small edition clothing. In fact, my friends at Simply Soraya sell natural skincare products on here that they make themselves. More on selling on etsy here.
If your goods are more general then you should look at the two big gorillas when it comes to online selling – Amazon and eBay. These sites sell just about anything that’s (legally) being sold offline. Even if there’s a more specialist marketplace for your goods it might be work considering these options as they attract so many people.
If you’re attempting retail arbitrage then these are the sites you need to sell on.
Classifieds are another way of getting people to find you. This is a good choice if you’re selling something that is hard to send via a courier or just want to be really local. Classified sites have replaces traditional newspaper classifieds and are growing in popularity with several good choices allowing free ads with the ability to pay to improve your ads visibility.
Craigslist and Gumtree are perhaps the standout options.
Delivering Your Sales
For most of these marketplaces the shipping is something you need to take care of. That will mean you’ll need to go down to the post office yourself or arrange a courier company to come and collect the goods to ship for you.
A notable alternative is Fulfillment By Amazon, or FBA. FBA lets you send your goods to a warehouse where they ship it out to people automatically. They take a greater commission but it makes things much simpler. Drop shipping companies can do a similar thing for you as well.
I hope this article has made you think about what you might be able to sell and where you can do it. It’s a great option to make money from home if you have some skill or product to sell.